Prep Impressions: Aug. 30, 2019

PHOTO CREDIT TERRY PIERSON

CORONA — The MoVal Rancho Verde-Corona Santiago Week 1 varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, may have provided both teams a glimpse of what may come.

For MoVal Rancho Verde, it’s about getting better every week and working for the playoffs. The Mustangs weren’t challenged in a 49-0 victory over Quartz Hill in Week 0, and weren’t forced to answer a ton of questions by Santiago in Week 1. That’ll change next week against Upland, but for now the defense is taking pride in having allowed just seven points over its first eight quarters while the offense has produced back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances. Oh, and sophomore QB A.J. Duffy is 30-for-38 with six TDs so far. Not perfect, but they are some strong legs to stand on ahead of the rematch of last year’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 championship game.

MoVal Rancho Verde head coach Pete Duffy, “I feel like we played better. We’re just starting to play a little better but it’s a long season. We want to be good at the end. (Santiago) is really good. They’re well coached (and) their kids are freakin’ smart. They’re so well coached, tough and strong.”

For Corona Santiago, the RPO is going to need a lot of work. The Sharks totaled just four rushing yards on the night, and without a power back to help the team in short-yardage situations it’s downright painful to watch the team lose yards immediately after making some terrific gains in the passing game. Senior QB Brandon Arambula looks capable and ready to step up as the starter – showing a stronger arm/less mobility than his predecessor – but he’ll need a productive running game if the Sharks are to find offensive balance. On a positive note, Sharks defensive coordinator Ron Gant had his guys fired up and absolutely flying to the ball in the first half.

Corona Santiago head coach Scott Morrison said, “We did a lot of good things in all phases of the game, but we didn’t do enough good things to be as competitive as we want to be. Brandon (Arambula) is a good quarterback, and he’s committed to being as good as he can be, and he has really developed a sense of our offense. A lot of that is him making the right reads pre-snap and then making plays, and giving our receivers a chance to make plays. A lot of the stuff we do is from the RPO, and post-snap reads, and as a result sometimes we’re going to get the pass read and sometimes you’re going to get the run read, and we hope to make the right read most of the time. Rancho Verde was committed to stopping the run, and when we ran just straight run plays we were running into trouble so we relied a little bit more on giving Brandon the opportunity to make the read. We had a modicum of success but we have to finish. We had the ball in their territory several times, in the red zone a couple of times, and came away with only seven points. And it’s hard to win against anybody when you only put up seven points on the board, and against a team the quality of Rancho Verde – and Pete does a tremendous job – so if you only put seven points up against them you’re going to be in for a long night.”

BOX SCORE
Rancho Verde – 3 – 14 – 14 – 14 — 45
Santiago – 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 — 7
First quarter

R – Santiago 37 FG, 4:07
Second quarter
R – Jefferson 5 run (Santiago kick), 8:23
R – Ugorji 1 run (Santiago kick), 0:03
Third quarter
R – Ugorji 1 run (Santiago kick), 10:38
S – Koenig 35 pass from Arambula (Marroquin kick), 9:03
R – McKinney 12 pass from Duffy (Santiago kick), 7:17
Fourth quarter
R – Jefferson 3 run (Santiago kick), 11:54
R – Ugorji 1 run (Santiago kick), 5:19
Individual statistics
Rushing
– Rancho Verde: Jefferson 19-105, Ugorji 6-33, Duffy 4-15, Del Castillo 2-10; Santiago: Arambula 6-8, Marshall 6-0, Foster 2-(minus-4).
Passing – Rancho Verde: Duffy 20-25-1-184; Santiago: Arambula 19-34-1-232.
Receiving – Rancho Verde: McKinney 7-73, Del Castillo 4-55, Carnell 6-36, Brown 3-20; Santiago: Koenig 6-76, Hustava 3-59, Granger 4-48, Marshall 2-35, Mahoney 1-12, Foster 1-4.
Penalties – Rancho Verde: 2-25; Santiago: 11-73.

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